Medical Research

How Much CBD is Right for You? Medical Cannabis Experts Weigh In

Written by Lance Griffin

Cannabidiol (CBD) delivers many therapeutic benefits, such as reducing pain, anxiety, and inflammation. The trick is figuring out how much CBD to take in order to maximize the positive effects. Some people take CBD and don’t notice anything. Others might find that CBD causes the undesired effect of drowsiness. [1]

We are individuals with unique body compositions. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to dosing CBD. Thankfully, medical cannabis experts offer advice to help guide consumers toward the right CBD dose.


CBD Doses Vary with the Individual

CBD dosing can be difficult to pin down. Dr. Dustin Sulak explains that “We all have a unique internal chemistry, and the cannabinoid system is very complex, so vastly different dosages will be best for different people.”

Physicians may define a certain starting amount based on the patient’s weight. Clinical studies typically measure doses using the weight of the patient—for example, as milligrams (mg) of CBD per kilogram (kg) of body weight (a kilogram is about 2.2 pounds).  In a review of over 1,000 clinical studies on CBD, effective doses for various ailments were reported between less than 1 mg/kg all the way up to 50 mg/kg. [2] That means that a 150-pound person may (clinically) benefit from a daily CBD dose under 70 mg; they may also benefit from a daily dose pushing 3,500 mg! [2]

Dr. Sulak notes that some patients respond well to very small doses of 3-5 mg; others may require 300-500 mg. High doses may be more appropriate for those with serious conditions. Low doses come with the advantage of affordability.

Dr. Rachna Patel describes two patients with similar body shape and size who suffered from insomnia. To improve sleep, one required 2.5 mg CBD; the other required 50 mg CBD.

It’s easy to see why CBD dosing causes so much confusion.


How to Find the Right CBD Dose

Medical experts commonly fall back on the adage to “start low and go slow.”

The Arthritis Foundation® recommends starting with “just a few milligrams of CBD in sublingual form twice a day.” If this protocol fails to produce results, the consumer can titrate up a few milligrams after a week. They continue this titration process until reaching desired outcomes.

Dr. Neal Smoller offers a less stringent albeit similar approach, advising consumers to start with a low dose, record their experience, and try another dose after 4 hours as needed.

Dr. Sulak helps patients find their appropriate dose in four days, noting that “ultra-low doses can be extremely effective, sometimes even more so than the other [high-dose] extreme.”

Figuring out how much CBD is right for you takes trial and error. Some benefit from low doses, while others require high doses. Medical cannabis experts almost universally recommend starting low, going slow, and titrating to success.



1- Huestis M, et al. Cannabidiol adverse effects and toxicity. Current Neuropharmacology. 2019;17:974-989. 10.2174/1570159X17666190603171901

2- Millar SA, Stone NL, Bellman ZD, Yates AS, England TJ, O’Sullivan SE. A systematic review of cannabidiol dosing in clinical populations. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2019;85(9):1888-1900. doi:10.1111/bcp.14038


Image: Erin Stone from Pixabay

About the author

Lance Griffin